Americans, well actually, the world, gets told stuff by big businesses and we are told that what was told to us, was the gospel. (I'm not going to draw parallels with religion here) Businesses tell us these incontrovertible truths, and our government (of which ultimately pave the way for those businesses and their leaders to make buttloads of money) goes along with their proclamations. That's how the world works. We must listen to what we are told, because we are told it is indeed, the TRUTH.
DDT - The miracle insecticide. Harmless, it only kills insects, it will revolutionize the world. It didn't. Since the ban in 1972, it has persisted in the environment in measurable amounts to this day.
PCB's - At one time deemed the industrial lubricant to smooth the gears of the modern world it is in fact the cause of most of the ten trillion dollar cost to clean up the EPA Superfund contamination sites.
Cyclamates - The greatest thing ever for America, a world class sweetener that will revolutionize the food we eat. Just about the only food additive that has ever been removed from the GRAS list.
Agent Orange - Harmless to humans, the perfect herbicide. It doesn't breakdown like they told us it did, it destroys human genetic material and causes horrific illnesses with exposure.
Vietnam - Americans are fighting for the freedom of....... Still don't know, shouldn't go there either.
Iraq - We are saving the world with our invasion and search for weapons of mass destruction. See how that worked out.
Vaccines - Perfectly harmless, yet according to data from Europe, more people die from the flu vaccine than die from the flu itself.
GMO - Substantially Equivalent to standard crops. So many lies, so much research funded by the manufacturers of GMO's telling us how good they are, and just a few independent studies tell us how far from the truth those industry financed studies really are. Research costs a lot of money, not a lot of financing available for those wanting to upset the path to riches for the elite.
Back when I was in grade school we were told we needed to learn all that stuff in all those textbooks because someday it would be important to us, and we would need it in our adult lives. You know, I have never once needed to find the area of a plane intersecting a cone, but I do remember the formula to find it. I also know all, well, most of the state capitals. The truth is that most of the stuff we learn in school, is important if we watch Jeopardy or play the original version of Trivial Pursuit. It is possible that I might be a more rounded individual because I remember most of the crap from school, but I don't think it detracts from anyone's abilities that doesn't. As I get older though, the one thing that I think school DIDN'T teach us, was how to think for ourselves. Just like being an adult, we were told this or that was the truth, and we were told to believe it because that's what someone wanted us to believe. DDT, PCB, Cyclamate, Vietnam, .......et al.